OK, Google

OK, Google…

  • what’s the temperature outside?
  • what’s next in my calendar?
  • tell me a joke
  • good morning
  • convert $100 Canadian to US dollars?
  • set a timer for 45 minutes?
  • what’s the difference between a Home Mini and a Next Mini?
  • how old is Justin Bieber?

Such are the conversations between my Google assistant and me. To be honest, it’s not a very exciting back and forth. At this point in time, it’s more of an amusement than a real change in the way I do things. It’s fun but I haven’t reached that sense of revolution yet.

There’s always this nagging feeling that I could and should be doing more with it. It’s a lot like me with a television remote control – I don’t just want to know what’s on but what else is on.

Fortunately, rather than trial and error, there’s a wonderful resource site at:

https://assistant.google.com/explore/?hl=en-CA

So, as an example, I could be asking better questions like…

Anyone who has used the Assistant know that it be helpful and can comes up with surprises.

My logic is that, as long as I have it, I might as well get the most from it. So, I’m indeed going to be doing some serious exploring.

What’s the most off the wall thing your assistant has done for you?

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is created by me at the keyboard or as a result of an aggregator of my daily reading under the title OTR Links. On Fridays, look for my signature post "This Week in Ontario Edublogs" where I try to share some great writing from Ontario Educators. The other regular post appears Sunday mornings as I try to start a conversation about things that have gone missing from our daily lives.

5 thoughts on “OK, Google

  1. Good morning Doug!

    Assistants are useful for things that you could do yourself, were you not otherwise engaged. For example, if you are across the room doing something and want to know what the weather is like outside, rather than walking over and looking out the window, Siri or Google can be of help. If you are tying your shoe in a hurry to get out the door and want to check the time, you can use your voice rather than looking at a clock or a watch. This can be quite helpful if your hands are full. Turning on the lights using your voice can be not only fun but also also safer, as you can avoid stumbling into something in the dark as you fumble for a light switch.

    Assistants are a great source of comedy material, and some of them can even sing for you. Ask your Google Assistant “Hey Google, sing me a song,” or “Hey Google, tell me a joke,” or go for the AI-inside-joke type request like “Hey Google, open the pod bay doors.”

    One of the things that I like about the Google Home Mini is the ability for it to “broadcast” your voice from one Google Home Mini to another. If I’m in the kitchen and I’m not wearing my Siri-enabled Apple Watch, I can say, “Hey Google broadcast Hey Siri turn on the kitchen,” and the Google home mini in the living room then plays back “Hey Siri turn on the kitchen” in my voice in my bedroom, which is then heard by the HomePod in the bedroom which turns on the lights in the kitchen where I am. It’s quite exhilarating to be able to rely on technology for such challenges.

    You can find examples of Assistants on YouTube. Here’s one, although I would argue it’s not as practical as my example.

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  2. I use my Google Assistant all the time, for things like creating calendar events, setting reminders and timers (great for keeping on track with things!), playing the news, listening to the local AM radio station, asking for the time to drive somewhere, casting music to them (great if you have more than one and group them), etc.

    Don’t forget that the Assistant isn’t limited to single commands. As long as you reply within a few seconds you can continue to give it commands or ask questions, and it has some AI to make the conversations intelligent.

    I also have an Echo but Alexa isn’t nearly as capable as the Google Assistant. Mine is relegated to the garage for when I’m working on the bike and need to know what time it is…

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    1. It’s funny how you get used to it. Always funny to hear my Mini, Phone, Wife’s Phone, and Chromebook all respond when they hear me. Sometimes, they even agree on answers.

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